What if $600 could save a life?

When $600 can save a child's life.
What to do with that information?
How do we reconcile that with the wealth of our Western world.

A few weeks ago we met Nordina, a 9 year old, precious, beautiful girl with one very swollen and painful leg. She was not able to walk and her face was so pale you just knew something was wrong.
With a father who cared about her enough to bring her into our clinic in Onaville, she quietly fought for survival, knowing her family was without a penny of income.  Nordina's father followed instruction to take her to St. Damien's pediatric hospital (the more affordable of the pediatric hospitals in Port au Prince) and St. Damien's told him that surgery would be necessary. He took her back home and cared for her the best he could, knowing he could afford surgery for his beautiful girl.

Our Haitian medical director took a special trip to Nordina's house in Onaville 22 to check on her and speak with her father. Her father reported God told him not to 'put her under the knife.' Dr. Mainviel is incredibly wise and winsomely encouraged Nordina's father to continue to be open to medical intervention.

We were able to get Nordina into Bernard Mevs hospital where she was on IV antibiotics for just shy of two weeks for osteomyelitis (a severe bone infection) of the bones of her knee joint. Duckenson faithfully checked in on Nordina, her father, encouraged responsibility in spending of funds, drove Nordina to and from other laboratories for further testing, and made sure to keep Nordina and her father well-fed. The medical plan of care set by Bernard Mevs hospital was not surgery. They even had a North American orthopedic surgery team in from Broken Earth who confirmed surgery was not a necessary treatment plan at the time.

I got to visit Nordina and her father in the hospital. I brought Nordina some fresh juice. Nordina was looking good, eating well, and her father explained to me how he had been writing every single thing down that he used Onaville Community Health Center money for. We prayed, smiled, celebrated, and I showed them both some basic exercises Nordina could be doing to ensure she doesn't lose too much strength while sitting in a child's crib/bed at the hospital.

A few American friends heard about the case and wanted to help, raising funds, spreading the word, and donating their own. The grand total of all the hospital, examination, and laboratory costs was about $600 US dollars. Such a small amount of money can make such a big difference.

Nordina and her father have come to the clinic a few times this week to follow up. We're working on making sure Nordina is able to get the meds she needs to take for 3 months post hospital stay. She is back in school, hobbling around on her leg, but smiling and complaining of no pain.

Paying for Nordina's medical care was a privilege, afforded us by God and many who follow Him.

But what would it look like if Nordina's dad had a job and he could've payed for her himself? This is one of the deep problems of Haiti, the economy, lack of jobs, job insecurity, food insecurity... poverty. This is why several of the NGOs here have figured out that job creation is one of the answers here. This is something that I roll around in my head weekly.... how can we create more jobs? While it's challenging enough to employ 10 Haitians in our clinic, I'm waiting for God (and a community of learning minds here in Haiti) to show other ways that jobs may be created and sustained.

Until then, I'll remain grateful that $600 can save a 9 year old's life.









**Nordina's medical bills have not yet been fully funded. At this point her medical bills are nearing $1000 USD but her medical treatment is almost complete. If you'd like to contribute to this cause, please email me @ wecarehaiti8@gmail.com.

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